The RAP that Made Keith Ferrazzi a First-Time CEO

In this video, Keith Ferrazzi describes the relationship strategy that transitioned him from CMO of Starwood to CEO of an innovative startup of its day. Hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever sat down and consciously written out a relationship strategy to achieve specific goals? Did it help?

The Five Best Quotes for Christmas Cards that Write Themselves

Throw a “best wishes for 2012” and a personal message on the end of these, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic holiday card. I love these quotes!

For the wise and present
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt (also attributed to Kung Fu Panda)

For the whimsical…
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

by gavdana

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For those whose cup runneth over…
“All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.”
– Lord Byron

For the spiritual/poetic…
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
– Rumi

For the cynical humorist (best for a New Year’s card):
“Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.”
– Mark Twain

Sara Grace is myGreenlight’s Program Director.

A Life Without Email

In a very interesting article in TechCruch, Jon Orlin delves into the possible repercussions of a “zero email” policy.

Thierry Breton, CEO of a very large European technology firm with over 70,000 employees, has vowed that in three years, his company will be a “zero email” company. He says that “only 10% of emails turn out to be important” and that email is no longer the appropriate tool. “It is time to think differently.”

We’ve all had moments of overwhelm thanks to the sheer mass of emails in our inbox after even mere hours of neglect. But I can’t help but ask, what happens to those ten percent of emails that are important? Is this a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? And what is the alternative, how will we communicate with our colleagues if we have NO email?

There’s a lot of room to make email more productive without banning it. Take a look at Keith’s thoughts about sending emails: The Huge Mistake People Make with Email and 7 Tips to Avoid It.

How do you deal with email overwhelm? Are there times that you used to use email that you now reach for another tool?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Relationship Roundup: how to build relationships over the digital divide, best practices for accountability and generosity, and a new way to share your currency.

Roping in Remote Workers – Great tips for making remote workers feel part of the office from Read the article here

The shelf life of feedback – Thanks to @Thoughtleaders for this important note to remember about effective timelines for feedback. Read the quick tip here.

Gen Y Needs Your Generosity – According to a recent poll taken by CBS Money Watch, Generation Y could use the help of seasoned entrepreneurs to get their dreams off the ground. See the stats here

Purpose fuels passion and productivity – Leaders looking to spark engagement amongst its employees could pick up a tip or two from this HBR article on instilling purpose into their organizations. Read it here

Curate experiences as currency – Next in the world of offline social interaction, a social tool is on the horizon that can help you offer a series of experiences to your network.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Manager.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Relationship Roundup, examples from brands that are getting social and tips for getting more personal with your brand.

Follow the Masters – myGreenlight member and Intel’s resident social media expert @Ekaterina share the top 5 executives who know how to maximize their brand with social media.

Upping the social ante – Social Living and Twitter are working in partnership to make sharing deals through Living Socials mobile app easier than ever.

Hiring for Social Intelligence – The word is out that technical business skills without social intelligence can make all the difference in a leaders success.

Blogging Your Brand – Thanks @dgupta5150 for sharing this Hub Spot blog for making your business blog the best it can be.

Start with Relationships –  This Forbes article outlines why it’s critical for startups to put relationships front and center in their success plan.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Manager

Relationship Roundup

Sticking with the generosity theme, five ways to be generous from our growing social network.

Generosity is:

1. Teaching.  Each act of giving is a teachable moment.

2. Collaborating.  Getting things accomplished in the pay-it-forward culture.

3. Mentoring/Being mentored This HBR article shows just how easy it can be to partake in a powerful collaboration.

4. Appreciation.  Psychology Today blogger Elaine Shpungin, Ph.D. is talking our language in this post on mealtimes and the power of generous gratitude.

5. A “How Can I Help You” Mindset. Thanks to Michael Fox from the myGreenlight LinkedIn community for pointing out this Business Week article on networking as a generous activity.

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager.

Social Media Today: Is Your CEO Listening to What You Have to Say?

It’s universally acknowledged that developing and nurturing relationships is advantageous, both professionally and personally. The new question however, is – has social media and networking evolved enough to have become a professional must – and on top of that, how best to use it?

This year has shown the incredible power that social media can have. It’s now possible for every person to have a voice, to stand up for what they believe in, and to actually make that voice heard. All around the world, people, young and old, have used this power, from Egypt to Spain, from Libya to the United States.

In the Forbes’ article “Social Power and the Coming Corporate Revolution,” this idea is extended beyond the political and personal context to the corporate one. How can social media affect the way a company is run, or the way employees are expected to interact with clients and coworkers, or even what actions are deemed appropriate for a CEO? According to the author of this article David Kirkpatrick, “in this new world of business, companies and leaders will have to show authenticity, fairness, transparency, and good faith,” because let’s face it, if they go wrong, chances are people are going to find out!

According to John Hagel, from Deloitte’s Center of the Edge, “Trust is built by sharing vulnerability, the more you expose and share your problems, the more successful you become. It’s not about the top executive dictating what needs to be done and when, it’s about providing individuals with the power to connect.”

Has your company gone social? In your own online communications, what percentage of your professional messaging is personal?

Ritu Walia is the Member Coordinator at myGreenlight.

Relationship Roundup

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager.

Happy post-holiday to you all!  If you’re like those of us in the Greenlight office, you’re really missing that extra day in your work week and scrambling to make the moments count towards the progress of your goals.  Hopefully these references from fellow community members will help kick start next week’s agenda.  Till then – rest up, Monday is right around the corner.

myGreenlight community member @Ronald Yau recommends the following goodies.

  • Getting Mentors, a great HBR article for lining up the 3 perfect mentors.
  • We are a socially networked nation. Half of all Americans are now using social networks according to this recent Pew Poll.  Great!  Makes it that much easier for each of to get connected.  Just don’t tell my parents who have yet to send me a friend request.

Decision Fatigue?  Please raise your hand if you can relate. @Jason Womack must have been reading my mind when he referred this Fast Company article  on how to maintain focus and willpower on the things we want to change and maintain in our lives. Dully noted Jason.  Thank you!

New Contact Management Application: Graphight

Sara Grace is a founder of myGreenlight and today serves as Program Director.


Tool: Graphight contact management application,
Price: Free while in Beta
The Good: Promising use of algorithmic technology to help focus you on the relationships that matter; offers (unintentionally) a tech-enhanced helper for some aspects of myGreenlight’s Relationship Action Planning
The Bad: Clunky interface problems typical of a beta; some confusion or inaccuracy when the system makes assumptions, such as when it rates the impact of a meeting you’ve held; no Iphone app yet, only Bbery and Android.
High-Level Take: The tool is effective for centralizing and filtering contact data and relationship history, and offers some impressive advances in contact management even in its beta. This could be a key resource to help you “Build your network before you need it” and nurture your most important relationships.

Full Review:

With its “Relationship Economy Engine” algorithm (and a scientific advisor from Eharmony), Graphight promises to “put you in control of your network, so your network works for you.”

The web site (where you can take a tour) says the app will:

  • Advance new contracts into meaningful connections
  • Strengthen existing relationships
  • Measure the results of your networking efforts

And it promises that its goal is to create real relationships, not just contacts. In short, this does everything that we at myGreenlight would like a contact manager to do. So the real question is, how does this thing work – and how well?

For each contact, you can rate the importance of the relationship (what we call “relationship priority” at myGreenlight) as well as the current relationship strength, and the target.

For any contact you can bring up a “relationship history,” that lists any interactions you’ve had, along with their impact.

My experience, after dumping my Gmail and Outlook accounts into Graphight, was immediate overwhelm. How to focus when my database was awash in email addresses I didn’t even recognize?

I filtered by “Frequently” and decided to attack that section of my list – 129 contacts.

Like any beta, the app is currently plagued by minor but annoying UI problems. For example, if you’ve sorted by “Frequently,” you have to resort every time you delete a record. But the fact is, database management is laborious, tedious, and annoying, so a CRM really needs to make the technical input process as easy as possible. Their tour promises “no data entry,” but to make the application immediately useful, you really need to get in there and scrub, sort, and rate contacts using their sliders. If Graphight is going to succeed, they’re going to need to make everything ridiculously easy for the user – like buttuh! Because after I had gotten through rating about 30 contacts, I wanted to dive into a bathtub-sized martini glass and never go back.

But… I did instantly start to feel the rewards, when, in successive days, I popped open the “call sheet” feature, which recommends daily outreach based on who’s important, which relationships you’ve indicated you’d like to grow, and what your outreach has looked like lately. (I really would like to know how they figure out the “impact” of a meeting – I don’t see how it can be accurate, and it gave me a crazy amount of points for one incidence of a regular weekly account management check in with one of my colleages that I promise involved more yawning than bonding.)

The choices they made for me weren’t always right – but they did get me to make some outreach (or at least consider it… once again, you still have to do the work of building relationships, no technology is ever going to do that for you)  I wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise, because the person wasn’t essential to my daily or weekly agenda. That said, they were on my monthly or quarterly agenda, and I really did need to check in with them, and wouldn’t have without a reminder.

So, what Graphight delivers is still imperfect, but pretty darn cool. If you want a tool to help you take “build it before you need it” seriously, Graphight is a step in the right direction.